New Minnesota Driving Law: Hands-Free
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, a new bill was recently signed and will be taking effect on August 1. This new law bans the use of hand-held cell phones while driving in order to reduce the amount of distracted driving accidents in Minnesota.
Under this law you can still use your phone to do things like make calls, text, listen to music, or use navigation apps. However, you can only do these things using voice commands or single-touch activation to comply with the law and not hold your phone in your hand while driving. Drivers cannot use their phone at all for activities like video calling, snapchat, gaming, looking at pictures or videos, using any app that is not for navigation, and reading or typing texts.
Although this law has a debate about how realistic and easy the terms will be in regards to never holding your phone while driving, there is evidence that shows how safe and effective the law can actually be. The DPS says that 12 of the states that have this law in effect have reduced the number of traffic deaths by around 15 percent. This law is meant to keep people safe as well as make it easier for law enforcement to notice violations. It is important for everyone to be aware of this new law for safety and compliance reasons. If this law is not followed, there is a penalty of $50 for a first offense ticket and $275 or more for each following offense.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s website lists many ways that people can use their phones hands free while in traffic. Below are some of the strategies that can be helpful in compliance with this law.
-Store your phone out of sight and out of reach in a place like the glove compartment.
-Make sure your phone is on silent or do-not-disturb mode so that it can’t tempt you to use it.
-Connect phone to your car or truck to go hands-free on Bluetooth.
-Use an auxiliary cable to connect phone to your car’s audio system.
-Buy a holder to clip phone to dashboard for navigation purposes or single-touch operations.
Remember to drive safe and stay hands-free!